Sports Coach Logo Sports Coach Training Principles Fitness Components



text Translator



site search facility





Tecumseh Step Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made. In the analysis, we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.


This test aims to monitor the development of the athlete's cardiorespiratory fitness.

Required Resources

To conduct this test, you will require:

  • Gym bench or step (8 inches/20.3 cm high)
  • Stopwatch
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

This test requires the athlete to step up and down on a bench/step for 3 minutes at a rate of 24 steps/minute

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
  • The assistant gives the command “GO”, starts the stopwatch, and the athlete commences the test
  • The assistant helps the athlete maintain the 24 steps/minute pace
  • The assistant stops the test after 3 minutes
  • The assistant records the athlete's heart rate 30 seconds after completing the test
Step up  Step Up


The following normative data is available for this test.

The following table, adapted from McArdle et al. (2000)[1], is for Male athletes over 19. (Heart rate is beats/min)

Classification 20-29 30-39 40-49 49+
Excellent <72 <77 <80 <82
Very Good 72-80 77-81 80-83 82-85
Good 81-85 82-86 84-88 86-90
Fair 86-93 87-94 87-96 91-98
Low 94-102 95-103 97-104 99-106
Poor >102 >103 >104 >106

The following table, adapted from McArdle et al. (2000)[1], is for Female athletes over 19. (Heart rate is beats/min)

Classification 20-29 30-39 40-49 49+
Excellent <86 <87 <88 <90
Very Good 86-89 87-90 88-91 90-94
Good 90-93 91-95 92-97 95-99
Fair 94-105 96-107 98-109 100-111
Low 106-113 108-114 110-115 112-117
Poor >113 >114 >115 >117

To evaluate the athlete's performance, select the age group and gender, enter the number of beats in 30 seconds and then select the 'Calculate' button.

Age Gender Beats in 30 seconds     Assessment -


Analysis of the test result compares it with the athlete's previous results for this test. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's level of fitness.

Target Group

This test is suitable for active and sedentary athletes but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.


Test reliability refers how a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides various factors that may influence the results and therefore, test reliability.


Test validity refers to the degree to which the test measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made based on test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor training on the athlete's physical development.


  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • Can be conducted almost anywhere


  • Assistant required to administer the test


  1. McARDLE, W.D. et al. (2000) Training the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. In: McARDLE, W.D. et al., 2nd ed. Essentials of Exercise Physiology, USA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, p. 365

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2002) Tecumseh Step Test [WWW] Available from: [Accessed